Over 5000 people in seven villages in Kabarole district are living in fear of eviction from their homes following plans by one of the area landlords to open the boundaries of his land comprising block 7 plots 74 and 74A. The land covers Kijango, Kirungu,
Mugusu town council, Mparo, Kigarama, Kyanduru, and Nyakaina villages.
In a community meeting convened by the LC I chairperson of one of the affected villages mid-last week, residents asked their leaders to halt plans by the landlord Eng. Dr. Patrick Rusongoza to open the boundaries of the land in question until their concerns are addressed.
James Mwesige, the Kirungu village LC I chairperson told the meeting that Eng. Rusongoza directed him to inform the locals not to construct permanent houses and graves on his land or sell their bibanja without his consent.
However, Festus Bandeeba, the Kabarole Resident District Commissioner –RDC has assured the locals that no one shall evict them from their Bibanja in line with the presidential directives that no evictions should take place without involving the office of the RDC. He adds that the landlord wrote to his office about his plans of opening the boundaries and subdivision of the estate, which belonged to his late father Nkoba Rusongoza.
Richard Rwauhinga, the LCV chairperson of Kabarole district asked the residents to remain calm, saying no one will evict them, adding that as leaders they will contact the landlord to explain why he wants to open the boundaries of the said land.
Eng Rusongoza said on Tuesday that opening the boundaries on the one square mile of land does not mean that there is a looming eviction. He said that the land belongs to one family, which consists of 13 sub-families and these want to equally divide the land amongst themselves.
“It will be up to each family to decide what they will do with their part of the land. Our aim now is diving it and nothing else,” he added. Eng Rusongoza also revealed that there are people with their own selfish intentions who are instilling fear in the squatters using the threats of eviction. He notes with concern that the squatters have not been paying ground rent while others have been selling bibanja without consulting the landlord.